Salford conference to discuss Scotland

A PROPOSED digital TV channel dedicated to Scottish content is to be one of the main topics for discussion at a conference taking place next month.

The 16th Television from the Nations and Regions Conference – held in Salford – will also be considering the impact of an expected contraction in ITV’s regional news coverage, not least in the Scottish Borders.

It was a recent Scottish Parliament commission on the future of Scottish broadcasting that recommended that a Scottish digital TV channel be set up: the Scottish Network.

And yesterday, it was announced that Linda Fabiani MSP – Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture at the Scottish Parliament – will lead a debate on whether the proposal could be rolled out across the UK.

The conference is being held at the Lowry Centre in Salford on January 19 and 20. It is being chaired by Steve Hewlett, media commentator and journalist.

Also attending will be Bobby Hain, managing director, broadcasting services and regulatory affairs, stv group; Pat Loughrey, controller, Nations and Regions, BBC; Stewart Purvis, partner, content and standards, Ofcom; and Dorothy Byrne, head of news and current affairs, Channel 4.

Says conference organiser, Luise Nandy: “The issue of what happens to broadcasting in Scotland will affect the whole of the UK and we are delighted that the 2009 Salford Conference will again be the place where the public discussion on this important matter begins.”